Steve Charing with the Washington Blade reports that the trial of a Maryland man accused of beating another man will start next week on Tuesday on charges of assault.
Prosecutors may allege that the defendant was motivated because of the victim’s sexual orientation (the victim says he is gay). To support that theory, the victim, 30-year-old Kenni Shaw, says that the men (there were four others involved) who beat him didn’t steal anything.
They simply beat him when he was leaving a corner store.
As a result of the beating, which Shaw and others would prefer to have classified as a hate crime (but wasn’t), people marched to the site of the assault a few days afterwards, including the Baltimore City Police Commissioner.
The 27-year-old accused of assault faces both first-degree and second-degree charges, both of which are felonies, and can result in years behind bars upon conviction. The 27-year-old is the only man facing charges – none of the other four were arrested or charged – likely because of what Charing reports as his “lengthy record” of past criminal acts.